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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on October 11, 1998
Well, as a piece of fiction I would give it 5 stars ... it is compelling, one of those books that you can't put down. But as non-fiction, it fills me with anger and revulsion towards the author. Here's the Krakauer strategy -- if I can make everybody, even the good guys, look bad, then maybe I don't look that bad. This man just doesn't get it ... the amount of misery for which he is personnally responsible (I think of the 'friend' he left to die, and then, finding he's not dead, being 'terrified' to think that he might not have made it -- come on Jon, which way do you want it?). Courage and loyalty abound in this book, they cost good men their lives. Unfortunately it appears that neither will ever be understood by the author. That he profits in any manner by this book is nothing short of a crime.
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on March 16, 1999
As I was reading each, I couldn't help but think I was reading an elongated version of his "Outside" magazine articles, painfully stretched out into a book version. Both books he claims he "had to write" -- "Into the Wild" for the family's sake, and "Into Thin Air" to get it off his chest. I think maybe he had to write them for the money -- and/or fame. Both books would make fairly good reading if 50% shorter (like forget the first half). It made me angry that I had to waste my time reading the fluff before I could get to what the book, its reviews and its cover promised it would tell me. Shame on Jon Krakauer! Next time I'll happily settle for the "Outside" articles!
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on June 22, 1998
If this book serves any purpose it will stop people from taking the foolish risks these people did in the name of . . . um. . . I don't know. Professional guides take $25,000 to lead people to the summit of Everest where the oxygen is low, the winds high and common sense absent. What a waste of human life there is in this book. If you want to read adventure that examines the human condition try Joseph Conrad or Jack London. I recommend you spare yourself this indulgent, overgrown magazine article about supposedly intelligent people who climb to 28,000 feet and find out why there is no sign of life way up there.
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on January 14, 1998
How did this piece of crap become a best seller? Krakauer and his buddies failed on their expedition because they were unprepared. The only thing Krakauer has accomplished with this book is show his complete lack of integrity. John - you helped 6 people die. You have no business profiting from their stupidity.
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on June 8, 1998
I know this is a popular book, but perhaps our standas have dropped. I stopped reading the quotes at the beginning of each chapter after the first half. They were filler. A long, tedious book that would have been better left as a magazine article.
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on March 11, 1999
If you are planning to buy this book, try this first: Take a hammer and whack yourself in the head a couple of times. You will experience the same amount of pleasure and save yourself $6 in the process. I thought this was going to be a book about an expedition to climb Mt. Everest. However, I now see that the title of the book (e.g., Into Thin Air) describes a journey into the mind of the Author. This book is really bad.
The Author should have paid a visit to Dr. Laura, or should have at least watched a couple of "Fraiser" re-runs, prior to writing this book. He really needed to work past his feelings of inadequacy prior to attempting this book. I struggled through 175 pages before I just could not stomach another page of the authors' opinionated, arrogant tirade. An excerpt from P.178 is an example of the typical dialog up to this point: "My first impression of Beck had not been favorable: a back-slapping Dallas pathologist with less-than-mediocre mountaineering skills, at first blush he came across as a rich Republican blowhard looking to buy the summit of Everest for his trophy case. Yet the better I got to know him, the more he ERNED my respect. Even though his inflexible new boots had chewed his feet into hamburger......And what I initially took to be arrogance was looking more and more like exuberance. The man seemed to bear no ill will toward anybody in the world (Hillary Clinton notwithstanding. Beck's cheer and limitless optimism were so winning that, IN SPITE OF MYSELF, I grew to like him a lot." Ugh! My stomach is beginning to turn again. Anyone who has ever worked in a large Corporation can recognize this backbiting behavior. The authors arrogance is only exceeded by hit inability to tell an interesting story. The authors' inability to focus and tendency to ramble on about unimportant minutia are his real gifts.
I only wish I could re-claim the few hours of my life I spent wading through this terrible book. Better yet, maybe a class action law suit can be started to recover damages relating to the pain and suffering inflicted by the Author on the readers of this book. If you want to read a really good book (in my humble opinion), read "The Perfect Storm".
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on April 12, 1999
What a joke. This book is not an "account" of the tragedy on Mt Everest, but, rather, an attempt by Mr Krakauer to lay all of the blame for the events at the feet of Anatoli Boukreev. Fairly ironic coming from the guy who slept in his tent while Boukreev, oxygen or not, was out searching in the blizzard in the middle of the night. I guess this was how Krakauer decided to sensationalize the book to maximize his profits from the tragedy. If you want to read a better book about it, check out "The Climb" by Boukreev. His account seems to match more closely with all of the other newspaper and magazine accounts that were written about these events. I only wish I could have given it zero stars instead of one.
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on June 9, 2000
This book was a recap of the ill fated ascent of Mt. Everest by Jon Krakauer. On the climb 9 climbers lost their live in the worst storm in the mountain's history. In the book Krakauer puts almost every step into great detail and just gives numerous facts about the moutain. Krakauer just explains exactly what happens on the ascent. This book was not a very entertaining book and was very boring at many times. I did not enjoy reading this book because of how Krakauer puts to much detail into simple things like oxygen tanks and how they had to climb over the crevaces and deep holes in the mountain. The book gives too much detail on little topics. I would not recomend this book to anyone unless they enjoy reading documentaries. This is not a very exciting book and other people that I know who have read "Into Thin Air" did not like it aswell. I would not recommend this book to other people. It was very boring and the plot moved too slow. This documentary was not meant to be a book and Krakauer has talent, but should not write non-fiction. This book was dull and should have had more action for what happened on the mountain when they were descending. He should remove a lot the information about Everest's history and the pasts of the other climbers in his expedition. "Into Thin Air" was not a good book to read for fun, but it might apeal to people who want to climb Mt. Everest. Jon Krakauer was a good author and character, but the book was not well written because of the too numerous amounts of facts about things of little importance.
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on July 28, 1998
Jon Krakauer spends a remarkable amount of this book alluding to the fact that he is a much stronger individual than most of the other paying clients. I was impressed by his original story in outside magazine, this book didn't add much (apart from the fact that the second time around he got his facts straight).
Near the end of the book he endlessly whines about the fact that nobody tried to wake him to help with the rescue, despite the fact that he already mentioned that someone tried (and failed) to wake him to help with the rescue. In the end I was surprised that I hadn't really learned any more from reading this book than I had in reading the original story in Outside.
It's a good story, if you aren't bothered by Jon's ego trip. I was.
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on January 26, 2003
Krakauer tells an exciting story, well-written and captivating. But what is for real and what is fanciful writing? The lack of truth and credibility took away from my enjoyment of the book. This book caused so much outrage that Anatoli Boukreev and others who were involved in this disaster later wrote their own books to get the story straight. Krakauer makes assumptions and implicates people as at fault, mainly to have a good protaganist in the story. Its disturbing that this book has won so much acclaim. Exaggeration is one thing, but ripping apart people who risked their lives to save others isn't meritted. Krakauer certainly wasn't out there rescuing people.
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